Discover the Highlands and you uncover much more about Scotland than just the landscape. History unfolds and the people open up. Legends abound and the entire country seems to have been derived from tales out of a storybook. This 9-day custom discovery tour of Scotland gives you lakes and mountains, castles and steam trains, cobblestone streets, cathedral towers and whisky tastings all wrapped around the fabled Scottish Highlands. The landscape itself seems unreal at times, filled with immense...
Starting at the Base
When you arrive in Edinburgh the picturesque buildings of Old Town charm you immediately. Edinburgh Castle stands atop Castle Rock and has stood watch over the city for a millennium. Your private transfer meets you at the airport and takes you to a hotel at the heart of the city. After you settle in your guide will meet you at the hotel for a half-day tour of the exceptional city. The Royal Mile is a network of cobblestone streets that lead from the castle gates to Holyrood Palace. It runs a total of 321 feet through Old Town. Parliament Square houses the old Parliament building. A clock tower rises from St. Giles’ Cathedral. The West Door contains a heart-shaped pattern in the cobblestone street known as the Heart of Midlothian.
The mosaic is made of colorful granite sets and marks the position of the Old Tolbooth, a 14th century prison. When your guide passes the marker he spits. He informs you that many locals do it for good luck and to show contempt for the historic former prison. The street is wide and full of jovial locals and visitors alike. Colorful storefronts provide lightness to the stone facades. The Old City looks exactly how you imagined it, a representation of Edinburgh’s deep history and cosmopolitan present. The city continues to reveal itself to you beyond the open stretch of the Royal Mile and inside the thin meandering alleyways.
Edging the Highlands
A Garden View
Lochs and Ruins
Entering a Storybook
Moving with Steam
Continuing the Highs of the Highland
Always in View
- Traverse the landscape on a historic train route inside the first class compartment of an antique steam train
- Taste the celebrated flavors of a locally handmade single malt whisky
- Tour the exceptional grounds of Edinburgh Castle to see the Scottish Crown Jewels
- Explore the incomparable mountain passes and unparalleled forests of the Highlands
- Discover an array of castles restored throughout the centuries
- Enjoy a cruise around the fabled waters of Loch Ness
Scotland is more than castles and mountains, or whisky and lochs. This discovery tour of Scotland is handcrafted to show you the wonders of the landscape and depths of history. Discover medieval towns and dine in cosmopolitan restaurants situated in centuries-old structures. Stand at the top of a mountain for a marvelous view of the rolling foothills and look out over the cobalt sea to view castle ruins in the distance. Whether by railway, walking, or driving, you will embrace the beauty of Scotland in all its forms, situated on the heels and in the heights of the Highlands.
Your Scottish adventure begins in Edinburgh, the capital city of Scotland. The energy is palpable, filled with a mixture of cosmopolitan vigor and historic importance. Edinburgh Castle stands like a beacon, recognizable from every direction. You meet your guide for a half-day tour that takes you through the castle and along the historic stones that pave the Royal Mile. Outside of the city you are taken to a collection of castles that have watched over the countryside, many of which now lay in romantic disarray. The lochs are surrounded by sensational greenery and reflect the undulating scenery.
You visit a local whisky distillery and can taste the honey-colored finished product if you feel inclined. A day trip to St. Andrews takes you to the charming university town that also claims to be as the birthplace of golf. Whether wandering around the historic cathedral, visiting the nearby fishing villages, or playing a round on the famous course, the day provides an amalgamation of wonder. Your first-class train to Inverness lets you relax in luxury en route. The countryside passes by and you have a pure view of grazing cattle, rolling hills, and the lushness Scotland is known for. The ruins of Urquhart Castle are located on the fringes of Loch Ness’s banks. After your stroll around the grounds you will depart for a cruise on the legendary waters of the lake.
The scenery around you is as magnificent, as is a possible sighting of the mystical Loch Ness monster. Eilean Donan is a breathtaking castle located against the backdrop of the sea. The remaining structure maintains an ethereal ambiance. Continue to the Isle of Skye to experience a truly unique landscape that will remind you of a fantasyland. Relax on a classic train journey that has been rated one of the most beautiful train rides in the world. Settle into Oban and witness the seaside village and its quaint atmosphere. You return to Edinburgh by way of the magnificent Trossachs, an area of ancient woodland and marshes. Your private transfer will meet you at your hotel and take you to the airport for your flight home. You may be departing the Highlands but you will always carry the inspired pieces of scenery with you.
$3,505 per person (excluding international flights)
Your Zicasso trip is fully customizable, and this sample itinerary is a starting place for your travel plans. Actual costs are dynamic, and your selection of accommodations and activities, your season of travel, and other such variables will bring this budget guideline up or down. Throughout your planning experience with your Zicasso specialist, your itinerary is designed around your budget. You can book your trip when you are satisfied with every detail. Planning your trip with a Zicasso travel specialist is a free service.
- In-country transportation
- Some or all activities and tours
- Expert trip planning
- 24x7 support during your trip
Your final trip cost will vary based on your selected accommodations, activities, meals, and other trip elements that you opt to include.
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